No campaign speech from Erdoğan on TRT due to ‘busy schedule’

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An election worker shows ballot papers with the portraits of candidates and the parties in the Turkish elections at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul on June 7, 2018, as Turkish citizens living abroad have begun voting at customs gates and foreign missions to participate in Turkey's June 24 presidential and general elections. Turkish President Erdogan is facing an unexpectedly tight contest in this month's Turkish elections, with opponents showing a new-found unity and his charismatic main rival building campaign momentum. / AFP PHOTO / Yasin AKGUL

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not deliver a campaign speech as the presidential candidate of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on public broadcaster the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) due to a busy schedule, the Milliyet daily reported on Thursday.

Presidential candidates and political parties have the right to make 10-minute-long campaign speeches on TRT in the run-up to the elections.

Turkey will hold snap presidential and general elections on June 24.

The daily reported, based on AKP sources, that neither Erdoğan nor Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım have time to allocate for the taping of the TRT campaign speech video due to their busy election programs.

TRT will start to broadcast the speeches of presidential candidates on June 17, with Doğu Perinçek appearing first, followed by Selahattin Demirtaş and Temel Karamollaoğlu.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce and İYİ Party presidential candidate Meral Akşener have refused to appear on TRT, which they criticized for a lack of news coverage on the opposition.

TRT is being heavily criticized for discriminating against opposition parties while giving extensive coverage to the election campaigns of Erdoğan and his AKP.

Most of Erdoğan and the AKP’s election rallies are broadcast live by the station.

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